Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tracey Emin

Top 100 2002: Singles Tent
6' x 7' x 8', paper and wood, 2003
Another artist who operates in the higher regions of the contemporary art world, and who I admire greatly, is Tracey Emin. Like Peyton, she’s about the same age as myself. Unlike Peyton however, she grew up in Britain, being a teen during the punk rock era. Her work, I believe, cannot be dissociated from that. It really is punk. I envy that. Her most notorious work is a tent that is called Everyone I Ever Slept With 1963-1995. She built her tent a good six or seven years before I built mine. I didn’t know of Emin until fairly recently and neither had I seen her tent when I built mine, but it certainly was an inspiration, if only in retrospect. The tent I built in 2003 is my only foray into sculpture, or installation art, and fills me with loads of precious memories. I built it as a celebration of doing the Top 100 for twenty straight years then. In it were pillows, blankets, a portable 45 player, and a bunch of selected singles. Its walls were made from 45 rpm single covers, those that were issued by record companies, those with logos and a hole in the middle, holes that, when lit strategically, would cast beautiful shadows in, and outside the tent. The opening reception was well attended. Among the visitors that night were three gorgeous female fashion models, who in the early morning hours, when it all was about to end, engaged in a wrestling match inside the tent. Even though the walls were built from paper-thin paper, I did not intervene and tell them to be easy on the fragile tent. Not a single ‘single’ sleeve broke.

Tracey Emin, Everyone I've Ever Slept With, 1963-1995
tent with fabric stitchings, 1995, Saatchi, London

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